Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2007

Masters of their garden

July 26, 2007

A quick stroll through John and Judi Barbee's yard is all that's needed to see why the couple is the envy of their Lansing neighborhood.

Flowerbeds filled with hyacinths, forget-me-nots and hostas complement a well-manicured lawn in zen-like perfection.

John and Judi Barbee

John and Judi Barbee

The centerpiece of the backyard is a pond the Barbees dug themselves, complete with a trickling waterfall, goldfish and floating water lilies.

"It makes it very relaxing," John Barbee said. "We enjoy spending time back there - if we can quit working long enough."

The couple's yard has been a 10-year work in progress, and they have no plans to quit anytime soon.

"I'm more than a regular at the garden store," John Barbee said. "Every year we try to spend less and less and end up spending more."

Judi Barbee said she has been interested in gardening her whole life, and when her husband retired, they really began to get serious about it.

"He gave up his golf game, and we started landscaping," Judi Barbee said. "He does all the digging, and I do more of the planting and gardening."

Where will the couple come up with ideas for the next big project?

"We watch too much HGTV," Judi Barbee said. "That's our problem."

When they're not outdoors working in the yard, the Barbees like to travel around the country in their mobile home, often returning to Laramie, Wyo., where the couple grew up, or visiting their children at their homes in Colorado, South Dakota and Tennessee.

NAME: John and Judi Barbee

ADDRESS: 331 Sage Road, Lansing

OCCUPATION: John Retired Army officer, teacher at the Command and General Staff College; Judi Gifted teacher at Tonganoxie Elementary and Middle Schools

FAMILY: Scott, son; Kristin, daughter; Sean, son; and four grandchildren

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN LANSING AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? John "I came here for the Command and General Staff College in 1988. We've been here ever since."

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LANSING? John "The people. It's a good place to live."

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN? Judi "We golf, and travel to see family." John "I like to fish. I don't catch much, but I like it."

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED? John "It was offered by an Episcopalian bishop. He was talking about fishermen fishing in shallow and deep waters:the deep waters are where the big catch is:I don't think I've made it out in the deep water, but it's still pretty good advice."

WHAT CLUBS OR ORGANIZATIONS DO YOU BELONG TO? Judi "None, really. We're both busy teaching and haven't really joined anything."

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